An Introduction into Second Degrees: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Alaska students that want to earn a BSN as quickly as possible may choose to earn their degree through an accelerated BSN program. These programs are often called "second degree BSN programs" because they are designed for students who have a Bachelor's degree in another field. Whether you want a career change or you're looking to use your prior education in the nursing field, an accelerated BSN is the way to go.
Accelerated BSN programs usually last between 13 and 18 months. There are online accelerated BSN options for students who want to fit their coursework into their busy schedule.
While Alaska doesn't currently offer any Accelerated BSN programs in the state, you still have options for fast-tracking your way to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. There are numerous online programs, as well as the option of going to school in another state. Request information from our featured schools to get started with their online programs, or visit our ABSN home page to find schools in other states
Alaska Second Degree BSN Curriculum
If you have a four-year degree from an accredited institution, a fast-track bachelor's degree in nursing program will let you skip over a lot of coursework that traditional BSN students have to take. As long as your first degree is from an accredited institution, your general education courses in fields like humanities, English, and mathematics can all be used as credits towards your BSN.
Since you don't have to take many of the general courses required for a bachelor's degree, the majority of your time in the program will be spent learning the ins and outs of the nursing profession. To save time while in the program, most schools require you to have completed a significant amount of science classes prior to starting the program.
In addition to learning basic nursing skills, you'll get to learn in-depth information on specific nursing fields. Accelerated BSN programs include coursework in maternity care, nursing communication, pharmacology, mental health, and health assessment.
Beyond the traditional courses you have to take, as a nursing student you will also have to participate in clinical rotations. These rotations give you hands-on practice in using the nursing skills that you have learned, so they are integral to your nursing education. Clinical rotations are required for both in-person and online accelerated BSN programs.
Career outlook/nursing issues in Alaska
There is a quickly growing demand for skilled, educated nurses in Alaska. O*Net reports that there were 4,860 registered nurses in Alaska in 2010, a number that is expected to grow to 6,210 by 2020. Registered nurses in Alaska can look forward to a median income of $80,600 per year (O*Net, 2012).
Nurses in Alaska may opt to work at a hospital, while others choose to work at clinics or other health care settings. Char-Koosta News reports a growing need for nurses that can work with Alaska Natives on reservations. Some major employers for nurses in Alaska include Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Surgery Center of Wasilla, and Alaska Regional Hospital.
Licensing requirements/issues in Alaska
After completing your accelerated BSN program in Alaska, you are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam, the exam that all nurses in the U.S. must pass to be able to practice. You have to fill out Form #08-4112, available at the Alaska Board of Nursing website. You mail the form, fingerprint card, Nursing Program Verification form, official transcript, and check for $284.00 to the Alaska Board of Nursing.
When working as a registered nurse in Alaska, you have to fill out a renewal form and submit it by November 30th of even-numbered years. Before your license is renewed, you have to complete two of three competency requirements:
- 30 hours of approved continuing education
- 30 hours of uncompensated professional activities
- 320 hours of employment as an RN
Many Alaska nurses join the Alaska Nurses Association, an organization that supports and advocates for nurses in Alaska. Nurses can learn about annual events, get assistance with relocation to Alaska, and learn about new nursing legislation in Alaska.